A rancher’s wish list

When you’re five or six years old, the time between one Christmas and the next seems to creep forward at snails-pace.

It’s almost Christmas 2011. Who can believe it?

When you’re five or six years old, the time between one Christmas and the next seems to creep forward at snails-pace. Then by adulthood (especially, over 50 – oops?) it gallops toward us with cheetah-like speed. All the intervening months pass by in a blur of spots.

So here we are again, the time of year when one might produce a wish list. Again, I am at a loss — fortunate, indeed, to already possess all I require to make life comfortable. Therefore my heartfelt wish is for health and happiness for family and friends. My pie-in-the-sky dream wish is for a particular camera lens ($7,500 — sigh, hard to justify when it doesn’t contribute back in any way), so I’m easy to shop for (strangely, my family wouldn’t agree).

In my role as a Cariboo cattle producer, wishes come more easily when pen is put to paper. What do I want for Christmas? Some hints/ideas follow:

A re-evaluation of our status/standing with the provincial government recognizing agriculture/cattle ranching as a foundation-industry in B.C. Surely our long historic tenure should serve to vault us up the ladder of importance very nearly to the top? After which, when faced with threats to industry viability/sustainability we could be granted much more timely assistance. Presently, our ranking appears to be very low in spite of the longevity of our industry, so perhaps when our MLAs return to work after the Christmas vacation (already home for the holidays?) they might consider a change-in-elevation for us.

The (cattle producer) wish list might also include: lower fuel (farm diesel/gas), hydro, and fertilizer costs. Heck, let’s just abandon that list and wish for lower input/production costs all around, coupled with good market returns — enabling ranchers to make a decent living for a few years running.

Ho! Ho! That will make a weighty sleigh load for Santa!

Liz Twan is a local rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.


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